November City Council Preview

City Counselors

It’s the first Wednesday of the month, so it must be City Council night!  It will be a difficult choice between attending the meeting and watching historic Game 7 of the World Series, but just in case your more inclined to the former, here’s what’s on tap:

Presentation:  Seneca Lake Trout Derby

What it is:  The Seneca Lake Trout Derby takes place each year during Memorial Day weekend on Seneca Lake.  The Derby’s main weigh station and headquarters is in Geneva’s Lakefront Park.  The Derby Board will be on-hand to provide an update on the event.

Why it’s important:  The Derby’s governing board, Finger Lakes Sports-O-Rama, has gone through some significant changes in the past year, and the new board is looking to make a splash (ahem) for the 2017 event.  Board representatives will be providing City Council members with information on planned changes for the upcoming year.

What action is Council taking:  The presentation is for informational purposes.  Council will be receiving the info and asking clarifying questions.  There is no action scheduled on this item.

Resolution Authorizing Sale of Property:  Waterloo Tract

What it is:  The City owns several acres of property adjacent to the Seneca Lake State Park entrance.  We have received a proposal from Dave Bunnell of Geneva to acquire the property for redevelopment.  He proposes to pay the City $200,000 to acquire the property.

Why it’s important:  In many cases, the sale of City property means returning it to the tax roll.  In this case, the property is located outside of the City, so no future revenues are possible.  That said, this site represents a continued maintenance cost, which will be alleviated by the sale.  In addition, the revenue anticipated from the sale is significant.

What action is Council taking:  The sale requires a supermajority vote of Council.  If approved, the purchaser will have a period to complete due diligence before the sale is finalized.

Resolutions Authorizing Public Hearings:  Sale of Property

What it is:  The City is evaluating the continued public purpose of properties on Clark, Exchange, and Middle Streets in anticipation of potential future sale.  These resolutions set a public hearing for the December meeting, to provide the public an opportunity to weigh in on potential future public use.

Why it’s important:  The City Charter requires that a public hearing be held prior to any sale of property, in order to determine if the public feels that there is continued need for the City to retain ownership of the property.

What action is Council taking:  These resolutions establish public hearings for each of the properties, to be held at the December 7th Council meeting.

Utility Rate Actions

What it is:  City Council has adopted the 2017 water and wastewater budgets.  The budgets called for a 7.5% rate increase for water and sewer users.

Why it’s important:  In 2016, City Council adopted a conservation-based billing program, which results in lower water and sewer rates for those customers who use the least amount of water.  Water usage for 2016 was reduced, which resulted in reduced rate collections.  In order to calibrate for conservation, Council needs to adjust rates upward for 2017.  Proposed rates remain below 2015 levels.

What action is Council taking:  Changing water rates requires two readings of an ordinance.  Tonight, City Council will be asked to pass the first reading of the ordinance.  Sewer rate changes require adoption of a local law.  City Council will set a public hearing on the measure for the December 7th Council meeting.

That’s it for tonight!  If you’re staying home for the Cubs-Indians, or Masterpiece Theater, check us out during the commercials live on Finger Lakes TV!


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